Author: Stephen Smith
Recent changes to the way minimum scores for Ontario’s Human Capital Priorities Stream are determined could result in further invitations to eligible Express Entry candidates with Comprehensive Ranking System scores below 400, the provincial government says.
A spokesperson for the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) told CIC News “it is possible” that the minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score in future draws will continue to drop below the stream’s previous minimum threshold of 400 points.
The Human Capital Priorities Steam allows the OINP to search the federal Express Entry system for candidates who meet its eligibility criteria, or other targeted factors.
Last week, the OINP revised the stream’s application guide to stipulate that the minimum CRS score will now be determined by the program’s director.
Leading up to the change, the province held three invitation rounds through the Human Capital Priorities Stream that saw the CRS minimum reduced below 400, and drop as low as 350 in a draw held August 9.
That draw targeted Express Entry candidates with a job offer in Ontario, as did an earlier draw on March 28 for which the CRS minimum was dropped to 351. A second Human Capital Priorities draw on March 28 also saw the CRS minimum reduced to 351 for Express Entry candidates with French language abilities of CLB 7 or higher.
Neither a job offer nor French language proficiency are mandatory under the Human Capital Priorities Stream’s established criteria.
Ontario has used the Human Capital Priorities Stream to target Express Entry candidates with specified work experience, as it did in a June 2017 draw targeting Information and Communication Technology workers. That draw also saw Ontario drop the CRS minimum below 400.
OINP’s spokesperson, Kwok Wong, said the likelihood of the minimum score continuing to drop below 400 will depend on a number of factors, including the number of eligible candidates in the Express Entry pool and Ontario’s labour market needs and priorities.
Wong said the Ontario Immigration Act grants the OINP’s director the discretion to set the minimum CRS score based on the following factors:
- Ontario’s annual OINP nomination allocation, as determined by the federal government;
- The federal government’s minimum CRS score, which establishes federal government Express Entry selection parameters;
- Ontario’s current labour market needs; and
- Other Ontario economic immigration related priorities.
In order to be visible to the OINP when it is searching the Express Entry pool, Kwok said candidates must indicate their interest in immigrating to either Ontario or ‘All provinces and territories’ when creating their Express Entry profile.
Doing so will allow OINP staff to identify candidates in the federal Express Entry system who have an interest in immigrating to Ontario.